Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 3

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Chapter 003

“Professor…

“How is your body feeling?”

It was Professor Heidel.

He looked down on me with a complex expression.

I responded to Professor Heidel with as calm a voice as I could muster.

“I’m fine.”

“…That’s a relief.”

Professor Heidel coughed awkwardly, then said,

“For starters, Ben Folt will be expelled.”

Ben Folt.

The insane one who broke his nose with my fist, who cast Lightning Bolt on me.

The second son from the aristocratic Folt House, he was already notorious for his combative nature.

The most astounding fact here was the word ‘expulsion.’

“Expulsion?”

“Yes.”

“Just one year away from graduation, and he’s being expelled?”

“The academy’s rules are absolute.”

Ignite Magic Academy.

One of the most renowned magic schools in the kingdom.

Here, whether a student is noble or commoner, they are treated equally.

Of course, any form of bullying or fighting among students is prohibited.

A fistfight might end with an internal disciplinary action.

But use of magic changes the story entirely.

Given it can be seen as intent to kill, being expelled would actually be considered a light punishment.

“…I see.”

But that guy will find a way.

The Folt family is part of the kingdom’s core power group, the ‘Monarchist Faction.’

They have power.

Even if expelled from Ignite Magic Academy,

he will find his way in another academy within the kingdom.

The problem here is me.

“Also, Luin. You can’t escape punishment, either.”

As I thought.

I couldn’t avoid being penalized either.

Though Ben Folt was the cause, I was the one who first resorted to violence.

‘If I get expelled…

What will become of me?

What about all the efforts I’ve made until now?

Unlike Ben Folt, my family doesn’t have the power to find another path.

Everything will be over.’

Swallowing my internal tremors, I spoke in the calmest tone possible.

“…Yes, please go on.”

However, the words from Professor Heidel’s mouth were somewhat unexpected.

“The disciplinary action will be one month of school service.”

“…Pardon?”

School service.

I was surprised by the lower than expected level of punishment.

“I’ve heard about the unfair disadvantages and ostracism you’ve experienced. I also heard about the nonsense Ben Folt spouted about Lord Ardel.”

“Considering your circumstances, the punishment has been decided accordingly, so be aware.”

It felt like a storm had just passed.

Somehow, I felt the academy understood my situation.

“Disciplinary actions will begin as soon as you have fully recovered. Focus only on your recovery.”

“…Yes.”

The conversation was over, but Professor Heidel did not leave.

Though the main topic was concluded, he actually pulled a chair closer to the bed and sat down in front of me.

Then with a serious look, he said,

“There’s something I want to ask you.”

He had a question for me.

I nodded lightly, and after hesitating for a moment, Professor Heidel spoke up.

“Do you possess an ‘Artifact’?”

“Pardon?”

Artifact.

Those are the legendary armaments said to contain infinite mana left behind by ancient sorcerers.

They refer to the formidable equipment that could shake the world to its core.

But, these were, unsurprisingly, just fantastical stories found only in historical texts.

The actual existing artifacts were a far cry from those described in history books, more often than not bundling together various magic items.

Items that could sustain a user’s mana for a period or were imbued with a special spell permanently.

Though they were mere imitations of the artifacts of legend, even these were rare and commanded exorbitant prices, unaffordable to most nobles.

The same applied to our family.

“An Artifact? Oh, no… That’s surely not the case.”

My father and our Ardel family, who cared more for their subjects than wealth and power, were ill-fitting for the reputation of high-cost Artifacts.

Professor Heidel seemed to be well aware of this as well.

“After all, it’s unlikely the Ardel family would own an Artifact.”

“…Why do you ask that all of a sudden?”

In response to my query, Professor Heidel spoke.

It was quite a shock.

“Just now. When you collapsed after taking the Lightning Bolt. I saw an inexplicable light emanating from your body.”

“Pardon?”

“It was red. It looked as if a high-level Artifact was protecting you. Or rather, it seemed the red light deflected Ben Folt’s magic.”

“What are you saying…”

At first, I didn’t understand what he meant.

But I knew Professor Heidel wasn’t one to joke around under these circumstances.

‘Huh,’

Gradually, my mind began to function.

I remembered what the healer Helen told me about the abnormal condition of my body.

And then, the strange dream I had.

A man with red eyes.

And that alien voice I heard.

“You are the Incarnation of Draka, the World Destroyer.”

“The Artifact ‘Player’ is now activated.”

“Status Window Unlocked.”

I shook my head.

What am I even thinking?

That was just a dream.

Besides, an Artifact out of nowhere?

I looked at Professor Heidel, who was observing me sharply, and said,

“I’m not sure either.”

“…I see.”

Accepting my words, Professor Heidel nodded and stood up.

Finally, he added,

“Lucky you’re unscathed.”

“…Sure is.”

The fact that I was unharmed after taking a direct hit from a Lightning Bolt.

He clearly implied something was amiss, yet he asked no more of me.

“Get some rest.”

“Yes.”

Professor Heidel left the infirmary, and I lay back down on the bed.

Thump.

“Sigh…

The worries about the incident and punishment had subsided, slightly.

But the unresolved questions only made my mind more complicated.

Artifact.

World Destroyer Draka.

And… the Player.

A string of strange words with which I had no previous connection.

But it wasn’t everything.

‘Surely there was one more thing…’

Recalling that strange voice, I whispered in a barely audible tone,

“…Status Window?”

Suddenly, something unfolded before me.

“Wow, that’s startling…”

I was so surprised that I involuntarily kicked off the blanket.

The Healer Helen hurried over and asked,

“What’s the matter?”

“…Huh?”

“Your face has gone white. Are you feeling unwell somewhere?”

“Oh, no… That, that’s… Do you not see this?”

I pointed to the blue translucent screen that had appeared before me.

Like a mana barrier, the screen displayed text in very small letters.

“Luin Ardel”

“Incarnation of Draka, the World Destroyer”

“Draka, a mage who sought infinite ‘strength’ and met his demise along with his own world due to overreaching. To Draka, who was inherently deficient in mana release, power was the source of everything.”

“Artifact Player: Summons the Status Window and allows for infinite strength through quests – an artifact of Draka, the World Destroyer”

“Strength: 150> +++

“Agility: 100>

“Wisdom: 1,550”

“This! This!”

However, Helen looked at me with utter bafflement.

“Luin, are you really okay?”

“Huh?”

“Come here. Let me check your head.”

“…What are you doing right now…”

“Just hold still for a second.”

She treated me as one would a poor lunatic, gently placing her hand on my head to infuse it with mana.

Ah, have I lost my mind?

But Helen only tilted her head uncertainly.

“You don’t seem crazy.”

“…Are you sure? I’m not really crazy?”

“Mm, no. Crazy people don’t claim they are crazy.”

“So, what is this, seriously…”

I wasn’t mad.

Even if I rubbed my eyes in case something got into them, it persisted, clear as ever.

It must be visible to me alone.

No, should I even be accepting this as reality?

“What are you seeing, exactly?”

Helen swung her hand as if swiping something away, cutting right through the ‘Status Window.’

This confirmed it.

It was visible only to me.

“Oh, it’s nothing. I must’ve been mistaken.”

“You give up so easily. Just rest more. You’re still in need of peace and quiet.”

After Helen left, I had to accept the truth.

“This… is real…”

* ♦ ♦

“Luin Ardel”

“Incarnation of Draka, the World Destroyer”

“Draka, an ancient mage who craved infinite ‘strength’ and brought about his own destruction along with his world. To Draka, whose ability to release mana was inherently limited, power was the source of all.”

“Artifact Player: Summons the Status Window and grants infinite power through quests.”

“Strength: 150> +++

“Agility: 100>

“Wisdom: 1,550”

First off, I don’t know what this is.

But I will examine what I can understand within my grasp.

First, “Artifact: Player.”

Presumably a long-gone ancient artifact, now only seen in historical texts.

The name of the Artifact is Player, and it grants infinite ‘strength’ through something called ‘quests.’

Next, “World Destroyer Draka.”

I was a bit shocked at this part.

“Draka… limited mana release…”

Draka, the sorcerer shared a similar condition with me, suffering from a mana release disorder.

And also, he gathered ‘strength’ through quests, becoming more powerful.

Endless strength.

Eventually, his power outgrew everything until it led to both his demise and his world’s.

And lastly,

“Status Window.”

“This shows… the current state of my body as a Player.”

“Strength: 150> +++

“Agility: 100>

“Wisdom: 1,550”

My intelligence is abnormally high, probably because I’ve devoted my life to studying magic.

It all begins to come together.

“I can understand this much, but…

It’s not that I feel it in my heart.

It’s just an understanding in my mind.

Right.

Something unbelievable has happened to me.

This ability saved my life.

And I have been transferred an artifact from a magician called ‘Draka,’ who was in the same situation as me, geomagnetic disorder.

It must be related to the dream I had.

Perhaps the red-eyed man was ‘Draka.’

But.

One major question remains.

“Why me, of all people?”

Especially at a moment when I was close to death.

‘Because of the same mana release disorder?’

This is something I don’t know.

Unless I meet ‘Draka’ and ask him directly.

‘Well, I’ll know when I try.’

I shook my head, standing up briskly from my spot.

Then I focused on the small word ‘quest’ etched into the corner of the ‘Status Window.’

‘I don’t know what this quest is…’

But it’s supposed to make me stronger.

Even though I’m not exactly sure what it’s about,

‘I’ve got nothing to lose, right?’

I’m already a failed sorcerer.

My future at the academy is already determined.

I won’t pass the graduation exam, and I’ll probably repeat years over and over.

If I can’t graduate, I might just end up as a subordinate mage or spend my old age as a librarian in a magic tower.

Perhaps I’ll lead a life far removed from magic and quietly pass away.

I do not want that.

That’s why I’ve stayed at the academy, unable to give up even though I knew it was futile.

‘Infinite strength…’

With one eye closed, and the other slightly opened, I cautiously spoke out.

“Quest.”

Instantly, another strange transparent screen rose before my eyes.

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